The Deal

The sleeve for the DVD -- a VERY limited release.

The sleeve for the DVD — a VERY limited release.

INT. LAKE HOUSE DINING ROOM – EARLY EVENING

The last few rays of light peek through gaps in the curtains and the plastic sheeting draping them. Plastic tarps cover the floor and the lumps of furniture as well in the darkened room.

A few DARK FIGURES stand watching a man, LOWELL HIBNER, illuminated under the only source of light in the room — a blinding floodlight.

Lowell sits at a wooden table — also covered by a plastic sheet — with a large, chrome handgun in his mouth. Lowell is 38 by calendar but these were not highway miles and his face shows it.

A bead of sweat dribbles down his forehead as Lowell’s eyes squint under the light but remain locked on the FIGURE seated directly under the light and across from him. The Figure is SUNNY.

Sunny, also late 30’s, has nondescript features that almost conceal his menace. He sits casually in a chair, chewing on a toothpick, with an expectant look on his face and a gun in his hand.

A few DARK FIGURES are barely visible behind the light.

Lowell’s finger tightens on the trigger and time stops.

LOWELL (V.O.)
This is how it ends?
(beat)
I had hoped for more.

INT – ZODIAC BAR – EARLY MORNING

Lowell sits on a stool at a dimly lit bar. His jeans and shirt are far from new and even further from clean.

The BARTENDER works up some drinks for the small number of PATRONS at the other end of the bar.

The stools near Lowell are empty.

Lowell’s glass is also empty, and he slides it back and forth between his hands. He wears a gold wedding ring on his left ring finger.

A small pile of change sits on the bar in front of him.

The BARTENDER, an older man dressed in the classic uniform of white shirt, black vest and a bow tie, approaches and gestures towards the glass.

BARTENDER
Another?

Lowell nods.

The BARTENDER knocks the small pile of quarters over and his fingers quickly do the math. The Bartender’s hand impatiently DRUMS the bar.

Lowell reaches into his back pocket and pulls out his wallet.

The wallet folds hold a few receipts but no money.

Lowell sets the wallet down and reaches into his front pants pockets. He produces a nickel and a small wad of lint. Lowell checks his back pockets. Nothing.

The Bartender SIGHS and picks up the glass.

BARTENDER (CONT’D)
Go home. You’re done.

Lowell looks plaintively at the change.

LOWELL
Can I just sit here for a while?

The Bartender gives him a withering look, sweeps the change off the bar and throws it into a nearby tip jar.

BARTENDER
Five minutes.

Bartender starts to walk away.

Lowell looks down at his hands and is struck by inspiration. He tugs at his wedding ring.

LOWELL
Wait!
(he pulls wedding ring off and holds it up)
What can I get for this?

Lowell extends the ring in an outstretched hand. The Bartender folds Lowell’s fingers back over the ring and squeezes none too gently.

BARTENDER
This isn’t a pawn shop. I changed my mind. Leave.

Lowell starts to argue and the Bartender tightens his grip.

A fifty dollar bill is pushed onto the bar between them. The hand that pushes the bill belongs to Sunny, who smiles over the cigarette that dangles over his bottom lip.

SUNNY
Why don’t you give him whatever he wants.

The Bartender looks down at the bill, releases Lowell’s hand and stares at Sunny.

Sunny smiles again but no warmth is conveyed.

The Bartender nods, grabs a tumbler and fills it with ice, then bourbon. He grabs the fifty and leaves for the register.

Lowell turns to look at Sunny.

LOWELL
Why?

Sunny shrugs and sits on the stool next to Lowell.

SUNNY
The guy’s an asshole.

LOWELL
Thank you.

Sunny shrugs again.

Lowell lifts the drink and finishes most of it, then stops to preserve the last swallow.

The Bartender returns with the change which he sets down in front of Sunny.

BARTENDER
What can I get you?

SUNNY
Coffee.

Sunny looks over as Lowell finishes the drink. He shakes the glass while it’s in his mouth to get every last drop.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
And why don’t you bring him another.

Lowell stops shaking the glass and looks somewhat nervously at Sunny. He sets down the glass.

LOWELL
That’s ok, I –

SUNNY
– relax. I’m on your side.

Lowell still looks dubious.

Sunny nods at the Bartender, who mixes another drink and sets it in front of Lowell then leaves for the coffee.

Sunny extends his hand.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
I’m Sunny.

Lowell looks at the hand for a second, then shakes.

LOWELL
Lowell.

Lowell picks up his new drink and sips it more carefully. The Bartender returns with Sunny’s coffee, then extracts a bill and leaves.

Sunny stirs his coffee with a finger.

SUNNY
So, what do you do?

Lowell opens his mouth to speak but can’t find the words.

Sunny stares at him for a moment.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
Ok, let’s try something easier. You live around here?

Now wary, Lowell pushes the drink back and gets up, somewhat unsteadily.

LOWELL
Thanks for the drink.

He turns and starts for the door.

Sunny partially turns his head and calls after Lowell.

SUNNY
I have a proposition for you.

Lowell eyes him dubiously.

Sunny LAUGHS.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
It’s not what you’re thinking. Not even close.

Sunny reaches over pulls the Lowell’s drink back towards his seat.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
One more drink to hear me out.
(beat)
What else do you have to do?

Lowell looks at the door, then back at the drink. He reaches a decision, then walks back and sits down.

INT HOTEL – LATE MORNING

A large bullet stands on a nightstand in a mostly dark hotel room. Lowell’s disheveled faced is visible beyond the bullet.

He’s wearing the same clothes from the previous night, minus one shoe, and lays face down on top of a mangled pile of sheets and comforter.

The lights CLICK on. Lowell squints painfully.

Sunny stands at the foot of the bed. He’s also in the same clothes from the prior night but looks relatively fresh in comparison.

SUNNY
Rise and shine.

Lowell’s eyes open fully. He stares at the bullet and then turns and sits up partially to face Sunny.

LOWELL
Not a dream?

SUNNY
No. I’m surprised you remember.

Lowell rubs his head painfully then reaches over and picks up the bullet. He squeezes it in his hand for a moment then puts it back.

LOWELL
I don’t have the blessing of a bad memory.

Sunny GRUNTS.

Lowell attempts to rise all the way up but feels dizzy and lays flat on his back to regain his equilibrium.

LOWELL (CONT’D)
How long do I have?

SUNNY
So you did forget something.

LOWELL
(blearily rubbing eyes)
No. I just can’t read the clock.

The bedside clock says 10:40 a.m.

SUNNY
Till noon. About an hour and a half.

LOWELL
And if I’m out I just walk?

SUNNY
That is our arrangement.

Sunny walks over and shuts the blinds to eliminate the small amount of light leaking through them. He sits at the small working desk.

LOWELL
It almost sounds to good to be true.

SUNNY
Really? If you walk out on this what exactly will be you going back to, Mr. Hibner?

Lowell visibly starts at the mention of his last name and reaches to check his back pocket for his wallet. Empty.

Sunny casually reaches in to his jacket and pulls out a wallet which he flips to Lowell. It hits him in the stomach.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
Relax. We, I, know all about you

(ticks off fingers on one hand)
The debt. The accident. Your former job. Your ex wife. The restraining order…

Lowell leaps to his feet and takes an unsteady step towards Sunny.

LOWELL
That restraining order was bullshit! I never hit her — ever!

Sunny doesn’t move, but his eyes speak violence.

SUNNY
Sit down, Mr. Hibner.

Lowell tries to match his stare for a moment then weakens and sits on the edge of the bed.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
I don’t know and I don’t care. My employer just wants to understand who he’s dealing with. I took your wallet when you were out. I won’t need it again.

LOWELL
How could you possibly find out so much about me in one night?

SUNNY
Technology is a wonderful thing.

Lowell puts the wallet back in his pocket. As he does so the bullet catches his eye again.

LOWELL
I guess that’s why they use the word “organized?”

SUNNY
You’ve watched too many movies. Nobody gets hurt.
(beat)
Some of the time.

LOWELL
(gestures to bullet)
And this?

SUNNY
Nobody’s making you do this. It’s your choice.

LOWELL
Why?

SUNNY
(shrugs)
When you have everything money can buy, you start getting off to power. This is about power.

LOWELL
What about you? What do you get?

SUNNY
I keep my employer happy. That’s my job.

Sunny stands up and walks close to Lowell. He stops and points to direct Lowell’s attention to the clock, and the bullet.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
If you’re still here at noon, we do this. If not, best of luck. Call anyone you want. Order food. Whatever.

Lowell looks up to Sunny.

LOWELL
What if I call the police?

SUNNY
(laughing)
And tell them what? That somebody bought you a few drinks?

Lowell stands again and looks Sunny in the eye.

LOWELL
You paid for the room. There’s a paper trail.

SUNNY
The “trail” shows that you paid cash. We didn’t end up in this hotel by accident. Keep that in mind while you’re making your calls.

Sunny smirks, starts walking to the door and then turns.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
One other thing. The police and just about everybody else care about people who have jobs, pay taxes and raise families. They could give a shit about someone like you. In fact, you may be the only person who does care. You’ve got till noon to figure that out.

Sunny turns, opens door and exits.

Lowell stares at the closed door, then looks down at his feet. He scrunches the toes on the foot clad only in a sock.

Lowell turns to evaluate the bed then drops down and rummages underneath until he finds the missing shoe. He places it on the bed.

Lowell looks at the clock, the bullet, and the phone.

INT. HOTEL — AN HOUR LATER

The door opens and Sunny enters.

Lowell sits at the small desk staring outside through the now open curtains.

Lowell’s shoe still sits on the bed.

SUNNY
No calls?

Lowell doesn’t turn to face him.

LOWELL
You know I don’t have anyone to call.

Sunny smiles.

SUNNY
You want your things from the Y?

LOWELL
No.

Lowell turns back to face Sunny.

LOWELL (CONT’D)
One week. Whatever I want.

SUNNY
Yes.

LOWELL
I want to go back two years and start over.

SUNNY
This isn’t Xmas and I’m not the third ghost. Why don’t you start with something small — food, drink
(beat)
A shower?

Lowell closes the drapes then turns back to Sunny.

LOWELL
Is your name really Sunny?

SUNNY
Nickname. Inspired by my disposition.

Lowell gets up and walks back to the bed. He sits on the side and picks up the phone.

The clock says 12:04 p.m.

LOWELL
(to Sunny)
My credit good with room service?

SUNNY
Here your credit is good for everything.

Lowell puts the receiver to his ear and pushes a button on the phone. TONES are heard being rapidly dialed. After a brief pause he speaks.

LOWELL
I’d like to place an order.
(beat)
Shrimp cocktail. No, make that two shrimp cocktails. A steak.
(beat)
I don’t care. Big. Medium well.

Lowell takes a long look at Sunny.

LOWELL (CONT’D)
And a bottle of bourbon.
(beat)
No, the whole bottle. Thanks.

Lowell hangs up the phone, picks up the bullet and lays back onto the headboard.

LOWELL (CONT’D)
Suppose I want to leave?

SUNNY
Anytime you want. I’m never far.

Sunny exits.

Lowell lays back and closes his eyes.

INT. HOTEL – LATE MORNING THREE DAYS LATER

O.S. TAPPING at the door.

MAID (O.S.)
Hello? Maid service?

More TAPPING.

MAID (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Hello?

The door opens and light creeps in to the room. Dishes layered with half-eaten food cover every available space.

The MAID, a petite Hispanic woman wearing an ill-fitting uniform, flips the light switch and Lowell’s face and naked shoulders are visible as he lies in the bed with the covers pulled up.

Two empty bottles of bourbon sit on the bedside table next to the bullet and the clock.

MAID (CONT’D)
Hello?

Lowell grimaces and squints his eyes open. He pushes himself up in the bed.

LOWELL
No, no, no. No maid service!

Sunny enters behind the maid and pats her shoulder reassuringly. He’s carrying a shopping bag.

SUNNY
It’s ok. Go ahead.

The maid nervously enters the room and begins to pile the various dishes together.

LOWELL
Damn it! I said no maid!

The maid stops what she’s doing.

SUNNY
Don’t worry about him. Go ahead.

The maid finishes one stack and CLUCKS worriedly to herself as she exits the room.

LOWELL
I thought I got whatever I wanted?

SUNNY
You do. But to keep your end of the deal you have to be alive at the end of the week. You’ve been in the bottle for three days.

LOWELL
I’m fine.

Sunny drops the shopping bag and passes another tray full of food to the Maid as she makes her second pass. He picks the bag back up and empties it onto Lowell’s bed. New shirts, pants, and other items form a small pile.

SUNNY
Why don’t you take a shower and then we’ll go for a ride.

LOWELL
(angry)
I’m not going anywhere.

They stare at each other as the Maid reenters and starts to open the drapes.

LOWELL (CONT’D)
No! Keep them closed!

The Maid stops abruptly and half runs from the room, slamming the door behind her.

Sunny picks a new shirt off the pile and spins it at Lowell. Lowell tries to block it but it hits him in the face.

SUNNY
Get up. Take a shower. We’re leaving in 30 minutes.

Lowell picks the shirt up and flings it back at Sunny. Sunny doesn’t flinch when it hits him in the chest.

LOWELL
What are you going to do — kill me?

Sunny reaches down, gently picks the shirt up and places it back on the bed. He produces a knife with a wicked blade and uses it to clean a finger nail.

SUNNY
There are things worse than dying.
(beat)
Much worse.

They lock stares again. As usual, Lowell backs down.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
Thirty minutes.

Sunny exits.

Lowell reaches past the empty bottles to pick up the bullet. He nervously tosses it from one hand to another.

EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD STREET — EARLY AFTERNOON

A late model Japanese sedan is parked on a quiet residential street with large trees and even larger houses.

INT. SUNNY’S CAR — MOMENTS LATER

Sunny sits behind the wheel of the sedan. Lowell sits in the passenger seat.

Lowell’s eyes are bloodshot and he appears to be in pain.

LOWELL
Tell me again how this falls under “anything I want.”

Sunny raises his hand, requesting patience, and continues to stare down the empty street.

Lowell SIGHS and fidgets.

SUNNY
Think happy thoughts. There’s still a 50/50 chance that you’ll walk out of this.

Lowell twirls the bullet between his fingers.

LOWELL
With my luck, 50/50 is a death sentence.

SUNNY
Perhaps it’s your attitude. I think a chance at a new identity and five grand would make you a little optimistic.

Lowell stops playing with the bullet and sets it on the dash.

LOWELL
Maybe I took your deal because I don’t want any more chances.

SUNNY
You give up to easy.

LOWELL
It was easier back at the hotel.
(pissed)
Why are we here?

Sunny raises his hand and points.

Lowell follows his finger and sees a YOUNG BOY, about seven, rapidly pedaling a bike down the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street towards the car.

The YOUNG BOY wears a helmet, elbow pads and a host of other protective devices.

Lowell squints, trying to see what’s of interest.

The Young Boy pedals past them and continues down the street.

Sunny turns to watch.

Lowell notices that Sunny has turned and turns around too.

LOWELL (CONT’D)
The kid?

SUNNY
Your kid actually.

Lowell turns away and stares ahead, frightened. After a moment he turns and eagerly looks back.

The Young Boy turns off of the sidewalk and rides up to the front door of one of the larger, brick houses. He puts down the kickstand and starts to peel off the many layers of pads.

LOWELL
I didn’t even recognize him.
(Beat)
I tried to find them for two years.

SUNNY
I think that was mentioned in the restraining order.

Lowell’s jaw clenches.

LOWELL
Why are we here?

SUNNY
Just trying to shake things up a little.

Lowell picks the bullet up and turns back to watch the boy.

A WOMAN, late thirties, pretty, opens the front door and comes out to greet the boy.

Lowell shrinks and hide behind the seat. He mentally wrestles with himself and talks looking at the windshield.

LOWELL
So she’s remarried. Big house. Big car.

SUNNY
You forgot the dog.

LOWELL
Right.

Sunny waits for more of a reaction.

Lowell continues to stare ahead with his past bearing down on him.

The Woman and the Young Boy gather up the various equipment and enter the house.

Sunny turns and looks back at the house.

SUNNY
You think she misses the one you lost?

Lowell’s arm lunges out and grabs Sunny by the neck. He squeezes as hard as he can.

LOWELL
Shut up!

Amazingly, Sunny grins and casually reaches up to pinch Lowell’s elbow.

Lowell GASPS and releases Sunny’s throat. Lowell rubs his elbow painfully.

SUNNY
Still a little fire left. Good.

LOWELL
This is entertaining to you? Why do you give a shit about my past? I thought you picked me so your boss with a god complex could get his rocks off?

SUNNY
Exactly.
(Sunny nonchalantly backhands Lowell’s face and knocks him into the passenger window)
The problem here is that no one wants to watch a man who’s already dead die — got it?

Lowell wipes blood from the corner of his mouth.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
Here’s what’s going to happen. You’ve got four days left. You will now tell me something interesting that you’d like to do. You will show some interest in this world while you’re still in it.
(beat)
I’m waiting.

Lowell takes a last look at the house then faces forward.

LOWELL
I’ve always liked the water.

SUNNY
Salty or regular?

LOWELL
(still rubbing his jaw)
Doesn’t matter.

SUNNY
What then?

LOWELL
I’d like to fish.

SUNNY
A pessimistic fisherman. Interesting.

Sunny turns the key and starts the car.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
You sure you don’t want to make a quick appearance at the house? Old times sake?

LOWELL
They’re better off without me.

SUNNY
Everyone knows that.

Lowell pretends not to hear.

LOWELL
You know where we can go?

Sunny puts the car in gear and, holding the wheel with his left hand, puts his cell phone to his right ear.

SUNNY
Let me make a call.

EXT. COUNTRY ROAD — DAY

Sunny’s car has a two lane road to itself.

The car passes a mangy, country dog rooting in the weeds next to the road.

Sunny’s car comes to a violent halt just past the dog and Lowell hops out of the car.

LOWELL
(patting his leg))
Come here boy!

The dog eyes Lowell dubiously.

SUNNY (O.S.)
Why don’t you leave the damn dog alone?

LOWELL
(whispering to avoid scaring the dog)
I get whatever I want. I want the dog.

Lowell opens the back door and again PATS his leg.

He reaches back in to the front seat and pulls the remains of a hamburger from a sack and tosses it in the back seat.

The dog’s nose picks up the scent and he gingerly approaches the car. A little more hesitation, then he hops in and Lowell shuts the door behind him.

INT. SUNNY’S CAR — MOMENTS LATER

The mangy dog optimistically SNIFFS the space between Lowell and Sunny.

Lowell digs in another bag and finds a few French fries which the dog eagerly devours.
Sunny glares at Lowell.

Lowell smiles.

EXT. LAKE HOUSE DRIVEWAY — EARLY EVENING

The car comes to a stop in front of a small, nondescript house with few windows.

The house is set uphill from a large lake on a heavily wooded lot.

The lake is gray with winter, as is the sky.

Lowell opens his door and then the back door. The dog slowly emerges and begins to scout the area.

Sunny emerges from his side of the car and opens the trunk.

Sunny rummages in the trunk and comes out with a variety of fishing gear — all of which still sport labels from the store.

SUNNY
You mind?

Lowell goes to the trunk and pulls out a bag of groceries and a huge bottle of bourbon.

Sunny glares at the bourbon.

Lowell shuts the trunk with his arm and smiles as he looks at the bourbon.

LOWELL
I said I’d cut back — not quit.

Lowell goes down to the lake and sits on the shore. The dog sits next to him.

A covered ski boat sits in a small boat house just off the bulkhead.

Sunny walks down towards Lowell carrying a variety of fishing gear.

Sunny uses his chin to point to the boat.

LOWELL (CONT’D)
Great. Give me the key.

Sunny drops the gear and shakes his head.

SUNNY
Your leash has its limits. I’ll drive.

Lowell looks back at the lake — then down at the sleeping dog.

LOWELL
I’m fine here. Go away.

Sunny smiles, turns and heads back to the house.

Lowell reaches down to scratch the sleeping dog’s head. The dog barely stirs.

INT. LAKE HOUSE DINING ROOM – EARLY EVENING

Sunny stares out the window.

The light is beginning to fade but Lowell is still visible sitting at the edge of the water with his fishing rod in hand.

Sunny pulls his cell phone out of his pocket and hits a speed dial button.

The phone CHIRPS as it dials the number.

Sunny hold the phone to his ear.

SUNNY
Checking in.
(beat)
No, I don’t think he’s going anywhere.
(beat)
Think of all the money you’re saving.
(beat)
I think we’ll do it here. I’ll call you if there’s any change.

Sunny hits a button and ends the call.

He stares out again at Lowell who’s just barely visible in the dying light.

EXT. LAKEFRONT — NIGHT

Sunny uses a flashlight to navigate the terrain.

Large pine trees and a healthy amount of pine needles are visible in the beam.

Sunny reaches Lowell and shines the beam on the back of his head.

Lowell has no reaction and continues to stare at the lake.

SUNNY
How’s dinner coming?

LOWELL
(still facing the lake)
Slowly.

Sunny shines the beam around Lowell.

SUNNY
Where’s your friend?

LOWELL
Around.

Sunny’s beam of light catches the full bottle of whiskey sitting next to Lowell.

Lowell notices the light and reaches down to grab the bottle. He breaks the seal, takes a significant swig and puts the bottle back on the ground.

SUNNY
All of this sulking just because you miss lying around the hotel.

Lowell turns back and faces the light played on his face.

LOWELL
Don’t you have a some girls to pimp or a fire to set?

Sunny LAUGHS and the light dances.

SUNNY
Ah, you’re still mad because I hit you.

Sunny shines the light back on Lowell’s face.

Lowell stares into the light with previously unseen strength.

LOWELL
You’d like think that everything involves you. It doesn’t.

Lowell turns back to the lake. Sunny trains the light on the back of Lowell’s head again but there’s no reaction.

Sunny shuts off the light and darkness falls over both of them.

LOWELL (CONT’D)
Why don’t you go back into town and get us some dinner. Pick up some dog food too.

Sunny doesn’t move or speak.

LOWELL (CONT’D)
Get me a sleeping bag while you’re at it. I’ll spend the night right here.

Sunny’s jaw clenches and he takes a step towards Lowell.

LOWELL (CONT’D)
(still facing lake))
I’m not going anywhere. I can’t walk on water and it’s miles to town. You can still play tough guy when you get back.

Sunny stands stock still in the moonlight for a moment, then moves forward and kicks Lowell in the back.

Lowell falls forward out of his chair and drops his fishing rod as he hits the ground.

Without looking back Lowell slowly gets up, grabs his fishing rod, rights his chair and sits back down.

Sunny glares at him.

Lowell reaches down and takes another swig of whiskey.

Sunny turns, flicks the flashlight on and heads back up to the house.

Lowell reels in a little line.

Lowell reaches into his pocket and pulls out the bullet. His fingers play with the bullet in one hand and he holds the fishing rod in the other.

EXT. LAKEFRONT — MORNING

Lowell lies in a sleeping bag on the grass. The dog lays curled up next to him.

Lowell stirs and squints at the overcast sky.

He sits up and stretches somewhat painfully from his night on the ground.

The nearly full bottle of whiskey sits next to the chair.

Sunny stares down from the deck of the house.

EXT. LAKEFRONT — AFTERNOON

Lowell’s rod twitches, then bends deeply. He pulls up on the rod and WHOOPS as he fights the fish.

Lowell REELS furiously.

The dog fidgets and WHINES at the edge of the water.

Lowell’s reeling pays off and the line comes closer to the shore.

Lowell reels in some more, then lifts the rod and pulls a large catfish from the water onto the shore.

The dog closes on the fish. Lowell pushes him back.

The fish gasps and twitches on the grass.

Lowell gingerly picks it up by the jaw and takes out the hook.

The fish struggles in his hand.

Lowell looks with pride at the fish, then looks back to the house.

The dog pushes in again. Lowell nudges him back.

Lowell stares at the fish for a moment, pondering.

He makes his decision. He takes a few steps to the water line and bends down and drops the fish back in the water.

LOWELL
Go on home.

The fish kicks and quickly disappears into the murky water.

Lowell stares after the fish.

The dog looks disappointed.

EXT. LAKE HOUSE DECK — MOMENTS LATER

Lowell raps on the glass of the French doors which open onto the deck. After a brief pause the door opens and Sunny stands in the doorway.

LOWELL
I’m ready.

Sunny bemusedly scratches his head.

SUNNY

For what?

Lowell fishes in his pocket and then holds up the bullet.

LOWELL
Call your boss. I’m ready.

Sunny stares at him without comprehension.

SUNNY
You still have three days.

LOWELL
I don’t want them. Let’s do it today.

SUNNY
This is not how it’s done.

LOWELL
You’re right. People don’t normally accept money and trinkets in exchange for russian roullete. Once you get past that I think the other rules start looking fairly tenuous.

SUNNY
Big words all of the sudden.
(reaches out and pokes Lowell none too gently in the forehead)
Maybe there’s still something in there behind the booze.

Lowell attempts to slap Sunny’s hand away but Sunny catches it and squeezes. Lowell’s knees bend slightly as he tries to bend away from the pain.

Sunny releases him and LAUGHS.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
I’ll make a call. Go do whatever it is you’re doing.

Lowell turns slowly, rubbing his hand.

Sunny reemerges from the doorway.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
(Gesturing inside)
Where are my manners? Do you want to come inside and use the bathroom.

LOWELL
I’m using the woods thanks.

Lowell holds up his left hand.

LOWELL (CONT’D)
Really getting back to nature.

Sunny looks at Lowell’s hand, then his own. Puts two and two together and grimaces as he holds his hand away from his body and shuts the door.

INT. LAKE HOUSE DINING ROOM – EARLY EVENING

The last few rays of light peek through gaps in the curtains and the plastic sheeting draping them.

Plastic tarps cover the floor and the lumps of furniture as well in the darkened room.

A few DARK FIGURES stand watching Lowell. Lowell is illuminated under the only source of light in the room — a blinding floodlight.

Lowell sits at a wooden table — also covered by a plastic sheet — with a large, chrome handgun in his mouth.

A bead of sweat dribbles down his forehead as Lowell’s eyes squint under the light but remain locked on Sunny seated directly under the light and across from him.

LOWELL (V.O.)
So here we are. Not many options available. Perhaps I never had any.

Sunny sits casually in a chair, chewing on a toothpick, with an expectant look on his face and a gun in his hand.

The Dark Figures are barely visible behind the light — one more noticeable and much taller than the others.

Lowell’s finger tightens on the trigger, then releases.

He pulls the gun from his mouth, reaches into his pocket and pulls out the bullet he’s been carrying the past few days.

Sunny trains his gun on Lowell.

Lowell is at peace at he opens the cylinder and extracts one of the three bullets already in the gun. He puts the bullet on the table.

SUNNY
Put it back.

Lowell places the bullet from his pocket into the cylinder and then snaps it shut. He SPINS the cylinder and then looks up at SUNNY.

LOWELL
You don’t mind do you? I thought it would fit. Maybe it’ll bring me luck.
(Lowell spins the cylinder again)
Maybe not.

Sunny turns to the Dark Figure with a curious look on his face.

The Dark Figure’s head appears to move ever so slightly back and forth.

Sunny turns back and lowers his gun.

SUNNY
Mind? Why would we mind?

There is movement amongst the Shadow Figures. It quickly passes.

Lowell takes a deep breath and puts the gun back in his mouth.

Lowell’s eyes squeeze shut.

Lowell’s finger tightens on the trigger.

The trigger moves ever so slightly.

A loud CLICK as the hammer falls on one of the empty chambers.

Lowell opens his eyes, takes the gun from his mouth and stares at it. He looks more disappointed than relieved.

Sunny pulls a manila envelope from his pocket and tosses it on the table next to the gun.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
Congratulations.

Lowell stares at the envelope but does not move to pick it up.

LOWELL
(looking at the floor)
Did you get what you wanted?

SUNNY
All the trouble tacking up the plastic and then no pay off. No, not really.

Lowell ignores Sunny and looks up at the Dark Figure.

LOWELL
You. Did you get what you wanted?

Lowell brings the gun back up and points it at the Dark Figure.

Sunny CLICKS the hammer back on his gun.

LOWELL (CONT’D)
I asked you a question! None of this makes any sense. I’m not going anywhere until someone tells me what’s really going on.

SUNNY (O.S.)
I’ll tell you what’s going on.

Lowell turns to look at Sunny but keeps his gun pointed at the Dark Figure.

Sunny lowers his gun and puts it on the table.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
What’s going on is that you’re going to put the gun down on this table. You’re going to take this envelope and you’re going to get in my car.

Lowell turns back to face the Dark Figure.

LOWELL
No!

SUNNY
If you don’t do what I say we’re going to pay a little visit to your ex-family. I don’t know what you think about the ex, but it sure would be a shame to lose the other son wouldn’t it?

Lowell pivots the gun back to Sunny, hesitates for a moment and then and pulls the trigger rapidly.

Two loud CLICKS are heard before the REPORT of a shot. Two of the Shadowy Figures emerge to knock Lowell to the floor and pry the gun from his hand.

Lowell THRASHES and MOANS but they overpower him and tape his hands and feet together.

Lowell’s face is pressed against the wood floor.

SUNNY (O.S.) (CONT’D)
(shaky)
Take him and put him in the trunk.

Lowell is roughly picked up off the floor and hauled from the room off into the darkness.

A door OPENS somewhere and then SHUTS loudly.

Sunny wipes sweat from his brow and sits down as if his knees had given out. A spreading blood stain envelopes his left arm.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
Interesting.

DARK FIGURE (O.S)
He’s in the car.

The lights suddenly come on and a woman, Lowell’s ex-wife, rushes in front of the spotlights and SLAPS Sunny across his face.

EX-WIFE
You son of a bitch! You gave him a real bullet? He could’ve killed himself! He could’ve killed any of us!
Sunny gingerly picks at the bullet wound and grins sardonicly.

SUNNY
Believe me. I understand that.

She SLAPS him again and then begins sobbing.

Sunny is torn between the pain in his arm and the pain from the repeated slaps.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
Great plan by the way. He really bought into it.

New Husband steps up and put his arms around the sobbing ex-wife.

NEW HUSBAND
That’s enough Carl.

SUNNY
No more Sunny? Don’t I have to drop our friend off somewhere?

NEW HUSBAND
Can you still drive?

Sunny stands and pulls his belt from his pants. He quickly loops the belt around his arm and makes a make-shirt tournaquit.

Sunny flexes his hand.

SUNNY
Sure — that’s why you pay me the big bucks right?

Sunny grabs the manilla envelope from the table with his good hand and uses it to mockingly salute the ex-wife.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
Ma’am.

Sunny strides from the room.

New Husband continues to stroke ex-wife’s hair as her sobs begin to subside.

EX-WIFE
He’s a monster.

NEW HUSBAND
He’s good at security. That’s why I have him.

EX-WIFE
He’s a sadist!

NEW HUSBAND
Perhaps.
(beat)
Let’s be clear on something. This was your idea. All of this was for you.

Her tear-streaked face pulls back to look at him.

EX WIFE
I just wanted to give him a jolt. Give him another chance.
(beat)
I don’t expect you to understand but I was so unfair to him after the accident. I took his life away.

New Husband pats her head affectionately.

NEW HUSBAND
I know that you’re a wonderful person and I love your son as if he were my own.

EX WIFE
You’ve been too kind.

NEW HUSBAND
Money is there to be used.

INT. SUNNY’S CAR — CONTINUOUS

Sunny drives along a dark, two-lane highway and swerves for no apparent reason.

Two loud THUDS eminate from the trunk of the car.

Sunny smiles.

SUNNY
Still awake back there?

Swerves again. Another THUD, followed by a muffled MOAN.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
Good! A little pain is good for you.

Sunny adjusts the belt tourniquet.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
Believe me I know.

Sunny drives in silence for a few moments, then smiles.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
We told your ex-wife that I’m going to drop you off near a bus station and leave you the envelope.

Silence, then a series of THUDS.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
She thinks that you’re going to drive off into the sunset somewhere and happily spend the rest of your days. She did all of this for you. Feels she treated you badly.

THUDS and MOANS come from the trunk.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
That’s right. She came to my boss — her new husband — with this sob story. The big softie, he did all of this to make her happy. To seal the deal so to speak.

Sunny keeps glancing in the rear view mirror as he addresses the back seat.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
I never thought this charade would work. It didn’t help that you suddenly regained you senses.
(beat)
Maybe I should quit all of this and just help drunks for a living?

No response.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
You and I — we’re adults right? We know this sobriety kick of yours is never going to last. We also know that you’re going to blow through the $5,000 in a month.

More THUDS.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
The boss told your ex that we’re going to check on you from time to time and make sure you’re ok.
(laughs)
In return, she agreed to never speak of you again. Perfect.

Silence from the back.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
He wasn’t lying though. I will check in on you I promise.
(laughs)
You’ll be on this great spread of land. Close to a huge oak tree and not too far from a pond.

Still silence from the back.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
Of course, you’ll be in a hole. It’ll make it a lot easier to keep track of you that way.

The THUDS and MOANS reach a fever pitch.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
Easy on the car Lowell. The $5,000 has to replace my clothes and the doctor bills. I don’t think there’ll be a lot left over for dent removal.

The THUDS wind down and stop.

SUNNY (CONT’D)
Good. We’re going to get along just fine.

FADE TO BLACK